General Idioms (Page 5)

Showing 201-250 of 1263 results
Clean as a whistle
If something is as clean as a whistle, it is extremely clean, spotless. It can also be used to mean 'completely', though this meaning is less common nowadays. If somebody is clean as a whistle, they are not involved in anything illegal.
Clean bill of health
If something or someone has a clean bill of health, then there's nothing wrong; everything's fine.
Clean break
If you make a clean break, you break away completely from something.
Clean slate
If you start something with a clean slate, then nothing bad from your past is taken into account.
Clean sweep
If someone makes a clean sweep, they win absolutely everything in a competition or contest.
Climb the greasy pole
Advance within an organisation - especially in politics.
Cling to hope
If people cling to hope, they continue to hope though the chances of success are very small.
Close call
If the result of something is a close call, it is almost impossible to distinguish between the parties involved and to say who has won or whatever.  It can also mean that you very nearly have a serious accident or get into trouble.
Close the book
If you close the book on something, you end it completely.
Closed book to me
If a subject is a closed book to you, it is something that you don't understand or know anything about.
Clutch play
If an activity is referred to as a clutch play, it means that the activity was the key to the success or failure of the venture. For instance, a clutch play in a baseball game may be striking out a batter with the bases loaded.
Coast is clear
When the coast is clear, the people supposed to be watching you are not there and you are able to move or leave.
Cock a snook
To make a rude gesture by putting one thumb to the nose with the fingers outstretched.
Collateral damage
Accidental or unintended damage or casualties are collateral damage.
Collect dust
If something is collecting dust, it isn't being used any more.
Come a cropper
(UK) Someone whose actions or lifestyle will inevitably result in trouble is going to come a cropper.
Come clean
If someone comes clean about something, they admit to deceit or wrongdoing.
Come on hard
If you come on hard, you are aggressive in your dealing with someone.
Come out in the wash
If something will come out in the wash, it won't have any permanent negative effect.
Come to a head
If events reach a crisis point, they come to a head.
Come to a pretty pass
If something has come to a pretty pass, then it is in a difficult, unfavourable or negative situation.
Come to bear
If something comes to bear on you, you start to feel the pressure or effect of it. 
Come to call
If someone comes to call, they respond to an order or summons directly.
Come up trumps
When someone is said to have 'come up trumps', they have completed an activity successfully or produced a good result, especially when they were not expected to.
Come what may
If you're prepared to do something come what may, it means that nothing will stop or distract you, no matter how hard or difficult it becomes.
Come with the territory
If something comes with the territory, it is part of a job or responsibility and just has to be accepted, even if unpleasant.
Comes with the territory
If something comes with the territory, especially when undesirable, it is automatically included with something else, like a job, responsibility, etc.('Goes with the territory' is also used.) 
Comfort zone
It is the temperature range in which the body doesn't shiver or sweat, but has an idiomatic sense of a place where people feel comfortable, where they can avoid the worries of the world. It can be physical or mental.
Connect the dots
When you connect the dots, you understand the connections and relationships.
Corner a market
If a business is dominant in an area and unlikely to be challenged by other companies, it has cornered the market.
Couldn't give two hoots
If you couldn't give two hoots about something, you don't care at all about it.
Couldn't hit a cows arse with a banjo
(Irish) If someone is particularly innacurate, especially in sports like football, they couldn't hit a cow's arse with a banjo.(A banjo here is a type of spade, not the musical instrument.)
Count your blessings
When people count their blessings, they concentrate on all the good things in their lives instead of the negative ones.
Crash a party
If you crash a party, or are a gatecrasher, you go somewhere you haven't been invited to.
Critical mass
The minimum amount of resources or number of people needed to start and/or sustain a business, project or event.
Cross the line
When someone crosses the line, they have done something that goes beyond the limits of acceptable behavior.
Cut a dash
If someone cuts a dash, their clothes and appearance makes an impression on people.
Cut a long story short
This idiom is used as a way of shortening a story by getting to to the end or the point.
Cut above
If a person is described as a cut above other people, they are better in some way.
Cut and dried
If something is cut and dried, then everything has already been decided and, in the case of an opinion, might be a little stale and predictable.
Cut and run
If people cut and run, they take what they can get and leave before they lose everything.
Cut corners
If people try to do something as cheaply or as quickly as possible, often sacrificing quality, they are cutting corners.
Cut it fine
If you cut it fine, you only just manage to do something- at the very last moment. 'Cut things fine' is the same. 'Cut it a bit fine' is a common variation.
Cut someone some slack
To relax a rule or make an allowance, as in allowing someone more time to finish something.
Cut to the chase
If you cut to the chase, you get to the point, or the most interesting or important part of something without delay.
Cut to the quick
If someone's cut to the quick by something, they are very hurt and upset indeed.
Damp squib
(UK) If something is expected to have a great effect or impact but doesn't, it is a damp squib.
Deaf as a post
Someone who is as deaf as a post is unable to hear at all.
Dear John letter
A letter written by a partner explaining why they are ending the relationship is a Dear John letter.
Deliver the goods
Do what is required, come up to expectations. For example, Kate delivered the goods and got us the five votes we needed. This phrase alludes to delivering an order of groceries or other items. [Colloquial; second half of 1800s]

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